Douglas M. Worndl
Doug Worndl is Senior Counsel in Rochon Genova’s Class Actions, Corporate/Commercial and Aviation Litigation groups.
Doug is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BA specializing in economics and history, 1984); the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (LL.B., 1987), and Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.M., Securities Law, 2008). Doug was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1989.
Before joining Rochon Genova, Doug practiced for 7 years as a partner at prominent Toronto class action firm and for more than 19 years (+15 years as a partner) at one of Canada’s largest law firms, where his practice focused on corporate/commercial, product liability, aviation and securities litigation.
Since January 2011, Doug’s practice has focused on investor recovery by way of securities class actions. His clients have included individual and institutional investors who have suffered losses as a result of breaches of duty by capital markets participants. He has been involved in virtually all aspects of the prosecution of securities class actions as is reflected in many reported decisions where he has appeared as counsel. Notable securities class actions where Doug has appeared for shareholders include actions against issuers Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation, Zungui Haixi Corp., SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Donnybrook Energy Inc., Canadian Solar Inc., and Home Capital Group Inc.
Doug has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Canada, and on a number of private commercial arbitrations.
Doug was also Counsel and Director of Research to the Federal Commission of Inquiry into the Air Ontario Crash at Dryden, Ontario (1989-1991) which served as catalyst to substantial improvements in aviation safety in Canada.
Doug works extensively with experts in the areas of accounting, auditing, underwriting and corporate finance, corporate governance, economics, and in the mining, petroleum, and financial services industries.
He is a frequent writer, speaker and lecturer on securities law and policy, particularly in the areas of enforcement, investor protection, investor recovery, and statutory civil liability.
Doug is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law teaching the following new course for 2018/2019: “Securities Litigation: The Public and Private Enforcement of Securities Law (LAW231H1F)”. He has also has been a frequent guest lecturer at Osgoode Hall Law School on topics related to securities litigation, securities enforcement, investor protection and corporate governance.
Doug has appeared before the Ontario Securities Commission to make submissions regarding the OSC’s “no-contest settlement” initiative and has co-authored a number of comments in response to OSC requests for comment on specific policy initiatives.
He has also been a contributor to the Globe and Mail Report on Business on securities enforcement issues.
- Securities Class Actions
- The Trustees of the Drywall Acoustic Lathing and Insulation Local 675 Pension Fund v. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. – Largest secondary market securities class action settlement in Canada (CAD$110 million) – Case arose out of one of most significant corporate corruption scandals in Canadian business history. Appearances included: 2018 ONSC 6447 (motion for approval of settlement and counsel fees); 2017 ONSC 2188 (omnibus motion addressing numerous issues including pleading amendments, and constitutional protection of criminally accused defendants); 2016 ONSC 5784 (“meta motion” considering the appropriateness of summary judgment to determine select liability issues in shareholder class action pursuant to OSA Part XXIII.1); 2015 ONCA 718 (Ontario Court of Appeal’s consideration of pleading issues and the leave test under Part XXIII.1); 2015 ONSC 256 (amendment of pleadings); 2014 ONSC 660 (pleading amendments and relationship to the leave motion procedure under OSA Part XXIII.1)
- McDonald v. Home Capital Group – Concluded securities class action relating to near collapse of Canada’s largest sub-prime mortgage lender following revelation of financial disclosure misrepresentation regarding underwriting practices. Appearances included: 2017 ONSC 5004 (order certifying class action and approving CAD$29.5 million settlement); 2017 ONSC 5195 (motion for approval of class counsel fees)
- Zaniewicz v. Zungui Haixi Corporation – Concluded shareholder class action involving allegations of misrepresentation in financial statements and auditor and underwriter negligence in connection with an initial public offering of securities by an Ontario public company whose operating subsidiaries were in China. Appearances included:: 2013 ONSC 5490 (approval of settlement in the amount of $10.85 million); 2012 ONSC 6061 (motion for leave to proceed against individual defendants pursuant to OSA Part XXIII.1); 2012 ONSC 4904 (motion for substituted service of individual officer/director defendants resident in China); 2012 ONSC 4842 (motion for appointment of receiver for purposes of defending proposed class action)
- Wayne Philpott v. Donnybrook Energy Inc. et al. – Concluded shareholder class action involving plan of arrangement with spin-off of oil and gas assets, and dilutive private placement. Certified common issues of statutory oppression, circular misrepresentation pursuant to Alberta Securities Act, negligent misrepresentation, negligence simpliciter, unjust enrichment. Unreported Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta File Number 1301-10050 (October 9, 2015 order approving settlement of $5.5 million; January 22, 2015 order certifying class action)
- Rooney v. ArcelorMittal SA – Ongoing shareholder action arising out of a take-over of Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation which owns one of the world’s largest and richest undeveloped iron ore deposits. Pleaded allegations include OSA Part XXIII take-over bid misrepresentation, oppression, unjust enrichment. Appearances included: 2016 ONCA 630 (successful appeal re: scope of investor remedies (rescission vs. damages) under take-over bid civil liability provisions of OSA Part XXIII; leading appellate authority on modern approach to statutory interpretation as applied to OSA); 2015 ONSC 3457 (successful defeat of motion to dismiss action)
- Abdulla v. Canadian Solar – Ongoing shareholder class action arising out of financial statement restatement of Canadian corporation listed on NASDAQ. Certified global class action of OSA Part XXIII.1 misrepresentation and statutory oppression. Numerous procedural motions and appeals considering issues of first impression. Appearances included: (2012) 110 OR (3d) 256 (CA), 2012 ONCA 211, leave to appeal to SCC denied (leading appellate authority regarding the meaning of “responsible issuer” and jurisdictional reach of OSA Part XXIII.1); 2015 ONSC 53 (successful motion for certification of securities class action including certified global class, and certification of common issues of Part XXIII.1 misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation and CBCA oppression); 2014 ONSC 5167 (successful motion for leave to proceed under OSA Part XXIII.1, s.138.8; leading authority on meaning of “core documents” under OSA); 2015 ONSC 4322 (denial of defendants’ motion for leave to appeal decisions granting certification and leave to proceed pursuant to the OSA); 2013 ONSC 5035 (motion regarding scope of permitted examination in aid of leave and certification motions); 2013 ONSC 5993 (motion re leave to appeal order regarding scope of permitted cross-examination in aid of a leave and certification motion)
- 1654776 Ontario Limited v. Stewart – Application for third party disclosure in aid of shareholder action arising out of failed going private transaction of large cap public issuer telecommunications company. Appearances included: (2013) 114 OR (3d) 745 (CA) (leading appellate authority regarding Norwich Pharmacal relief – Court of Appeal affirmed that actions brought pursuant to the civil liability provisions of OSA Part XXIII.1 are in the public interest of promoting compliance with the continuous disclosure regime of Ontario securities law); 2012 ONSC 1991 (application for Norwich Pharmacal relief against national newspaper to reveal confidential sources of inside information about status of major M&A transaction which, when reported, resulted in material stock price movement of large cap issuer)
Reported Commercial and Aviation Cases
- Celanese Canada Inc. v. Murray Demolition Corp. — Successful co-counsel on leading SCC authority on Anton Pillar relief, solicitor-client privilege, and removal of counsel where breach of privilege. Decision has been cited as precedent in over 195 cases. Appearances:  2 SCR 189, 269 DLR (4th) 193; 73 O.R. (3d) 64 (OCA) (appeal of Ontario Divisional Court decision); 69 O.R. (3d) 632 (Div Court) (appeal of Superior Court decision); 2007 CanLII 5685 (Superior Court consideration of issues following on SCC decision re: counsel removal)
- Air Nova v. Messier-Dowty Ltd.  O.J. No. 39 (Ont.C.A). On behalf of UK aircraft landing gear manufacturer and its insurer at Lloyds, successful summary judgment motion and appeal dismissing airline subrogated action arising out of airliner accident upon collapse of landing gear
- R. v. Deutche Lufthansa A.G. (1994) 25 Imm.L.R. (2d) 85; O.J. No. 1618 (Ont.C.A.);  OJ No. 2908 (Ont.Gen.Div)); and R. v. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (1993) 22 Imm.L.R. (2d) 63;  O.J. No. 2908 (Ont.Gen.Div.) Successful defense of international airlines in test case prosecutions of alleged violations of the Immigration Act – acquittals achieved for both airlines (trial and appeal decisions cited)
- 2056668 Ontario Inc. v. Fernbrook Homes,  OJ No 2755 (Ont SCJ); 58 RPR (4th) 96 – successful application for declaratory relief regarding interpretation of “right of first refusal” provision in real estate development agreement
- Chan v. Dynasty Executive Suites Ltd.,  OJ 2877 (Ont SCJ) – successful motion for removal of counsel for breach of solicitor client privilege;  152 ACWS (3d) 33 – costs award on counsel removal, and security for costs (case judicially considered 26 times)
- RV & S Ltd v. Aiolos Inc.,  OJ 1358 (Ont SCJ Commercial List) – resisting interim relief from oppression – client was defendant engineering firm and directors and officers in shareholder dispute
- Skylink Express v. All Canada Express  OJ 4939 (Ont SCJ) – successfully defended motion to stay Ontario action on basis of foreign non conveniens; 17 CPC (5th) 380 – substantial cost award – subrogated action by insurer of one air carrier against another air carrier for damages arising out of a ground collision of aircraft at Mirabel Airport in Quebec
- Tate Andale v. Di Clemente (2001) 108 ACWS (3d) 50 – scope of discovery, privilege and waiver; (1995) 36 CPC 351 (Gen Div) – commencement of third and fourth party proceedings – action based on breach of representations and warranties in sale of manufacturer by way of share purchase agreement
- Air Canada v. Kleber-Colombes,  OJ No 3297 (Gen Div) – scope of examination of representative of client aircraft manufacturer which was resident of California – case involved defense of US jet airliner manufacturer (McDonnell Douglas) in 3 related multi-party subrogation actions arising out of crash of jet airliner in Toronto.
- Bailey & Co. Inc. v. Laser Medical Technology, Inc. (1993) 15 O.R. (3d) 212 (Gen Div) – on behalf of California laser products manufacturer, successful motion to set aside service ex juris on basis that California was preferable jurisdiction to litigate a dispute arising out of international public offering of securities by issuer client
- Reddy v. Oshawa Flying Club  OJ 1337 (Gen Div), 11 CPC (3d) 154 – successful motion to dismiss on the basis of res judicata and issue estoppel – case arises out of crash of private aircraft into house and ability of FLA dependants to commence new action outside limitation period when initial action by injured pilot already fully and finally settled (case judicially considered 95 times)
Federal Commission of Inquiry
- Commission of Inquiry into the Air Ontario Crash at Dryden Ontario, Final Report (1992) (Commissioner, the Honourable Virgil P. Moshansky) Was Counsel and Director of Research to this Judicial Inquiry formed by the Government of Canada as an independent investigation into the contributing factors and causes of the March 10, 1989 Air Ontario crash of a Fokker F-28 in which 24 individuals perished. This was a two and one half year engagement involving more than 160 hearing days, and multi-volume report to Parliament which served as catalyst to substantial improvements in aviation safety in Canada and internationally.
Securities Public Policy Comment Letters
- OSC Staff Notice 15-704: “Response to Request for Comments on Proposed Enforcement Initiatives – No Contest Settlements” (December 6, 2011) with A. Dimitri Lascaris http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/documents/en/Securities-Category1-Comments/com_20111206_15-704_worndld_lascarisd.pdf
- OSC Staff Notice 15-704: “Supplemental Response to Request for Comments on Proposed Enforcement Initiatives – No Contest Settlements” (December 19, 2011) with A. Dimitri Lascaris, http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/documents/en/Securities-Category1-Comments/com_20111206_15-704_worndld_lascarisd.pdf
- Cooperative Capital Markets Regulatory System – Draft Capital Markets Act and Capital Markets Stability Act (December 7, 2014) with A. Dimitri Lascaris and Anthony O’Brien, http://ccmr-ocrmc.ca/wp-content/uploads/com_20141207_draft-legislation_siskinds-llp.pdf
- OSC Staff Consultation Paper 15-601: “Proposed Framework of an OSC Whistleblower Program” (January 11, 2016) with A. Dimitri Lascaris, Daniel Bach, Ronald Podolny.
- Appearance – Business News Network Headline Panel Discussion, Topic: “Investor Class Action Lawsuits”, (Toronto: March 14, 2012)
- Quoted in: “No contest OSC settlements are ‘bad public policy,’ Douglas Worndl and Dimitri Lascaris say”, Financial Post, Barbara Shecter (December 13, 2011)
- Quoted in: “Is OSC backing down on no-contest settlements?”, Law Times, Michael McKiernan (October 1, 2012)
- Quoted in: “No-contest settlements would free resources for costly market misconduct cases: OSC director”, Financial Post, Barbara Shecter (June 17, 2013)
- Quoted in: “OSC bans Zungui Haixi founders from capital markets”, Financial Post, Peter Koven (August 29, 2012)
- Quoted in: “Many said Bill 198 would unleash investor suits. What gives?”, Financial Post, Julius Melnitzer (November 15, 2006) p. FP17
Areas of Practice
- Securities Class Actions
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- Aviation Litigation
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Ontario, 1989
- University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- LL.B., Bachelor of Law – 1987
- Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- LL.M. – 2008
- Major: Securities Law
- University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Science, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- B.A., Bachelor of Arts – 1984
- Honours: With Distinction
- Major: Economics
- Major: History
- Aviation Insurers (London, New York, Toronto)
- Institutional and Individual Investors
- Aviation Insurers (London, New York, Toronto)
- Institutional and Individual Investors
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Law Society of Ontario (Formerly known as Law Society of Upper Canada), Member
- Canadian Bar Association, Member
- Advocates’ Society, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- Aviation Insurance Association, Member
- American Association for Justice, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Commission of Inquiry into Air Ontario Crash at Dryden Ontario (“Moshansky Commission”), Director of Research and Counsel, 1989 – 1991
- Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (and predecessor firm Borden & Elliot), Partner, 1991 – 2010
- Siskinds LLP, Partner, 2011 – 2017
Pro Bono Activities
- Teaching: University of Toronto Faculty of Law; Osgoode Hall Law School
- Various student, young lawyer mentoring activities
- Class Actions
- Personal Injury
- Accident Benefits And Tort Claims
- Back And Spinal Injuries
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Chronic Pain
- Commercial Vehicles And Public Transportation
- Depression, PTSD
- Disability Claims, Denial Of Insurance
- Facebook plays a growing role in many personal injury cases
- Head And Brain Injuries
- Major Insurance Claims
- Motorcycle Accidents And Amputation
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Occupier’s Liability
- Pedestrian And Bicycle Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Aviation Law
- Breach of Privacy
- Commercial Litigation
- Sexual Abuse/Sexual Assault
- Indigenous Rights
- Employment Litigation